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Marches from the Russian Empire
The Admiralty Band of the Leningrad Naval Base/Valentin Lyashchenko
rec. 2016/18, Studio Training Centre St. Petersburg Navy Academy
St Petersburg Musical Archive series

These are predominantly nineteenth century imperial military marches played with snap, crump and crackle by the Leningrad Naval Base's Admiralty Band. Not necessarily written by Russians, they would have been familiar to Imperial regimental bands. Only one of them is from the twentieth century, namely the Agapkin Farewell to Slavianka from 1912. The swerving humour, crump and bluster of these twenty-five pre-Revolutionary marches do not, in all fairness, convey any strongly Slavonic flavour. In fact, the bristling swagger, the rat-a-tat of the side-drums and the businesslike jingling johnnies (in other cultures known as the Turkish Crescent - related to the stahlspiel) might just as easily have spoken as representative of any other European military imperial context of that era.

Valentin Lyashchenko - who is splendidly pictured with the spaciously serried band on the St Petersburg waterfront - ensures that these marches are rendered with ruthless precision. The band is clearly an ensemble of regal quality. There's just the occasional flash of humour to vary things. You can hear in the case of Lumbye's Kong Frederik den Syvendes Honneur Marsch.

There are familiar non-Russian names amongst the contents list including Ludwig Minkus with a Montenegrin March, Julius Fučík's Schneidig vor (representing a composer who is the centre of one of Järvi's Chandos collections), Robert Planquette's distinctively Gallic-titled Le Régiment de Sambre et Meuse, Pugni's March for the ballet The Little Hump-backed Horse (later the subject of a ballet by Rodion Shchedrin) and Jean-Baptiste Lully's God Save the Tsar ceremonial music.

The notes include a nice profile of the Band and the well-rendered music.

This disc represents a branching out from Northern Flowers' usual classical pathway and should appeal especially to brass band enthusiasts with questing inclinations although, as we have seen, some of the names will be familiar.

The disc is well documented so purchasers are not starved of useful factual context for these marches.

Rob Barnett

1. Franz von BLON Soldaten Blut (Soldiers’ Spirit)
2. Karl BRATFISCH Steinmetz Marsch
3. Johann Heinrich WALCH Pariser Einzugsmarsch (Entry into Paris)
4. Philipp FAHRBACH Jr. Standartenträger-Marsch (Standard Bearers), Op.192
5. Johann Nepomuk KRÁL Hoch Habsburg (The Hapsburg March), Op.86
6. Julius LEHNHARDT Schneidige Truppe (The Daring Troops), Op.17
7. Hans Christian LUMBYE Kong Frederik den Syvendes Honneur Marsch (Honour March)
8. Ludwig MINKUS Montenegrin March from the ballet 'Roxanne, The Beauty of Montenegro'
9. Julius FUČÍK Schneidig vor (Bravely Forward), Op.79
10. The Old Chasseurs march (trad.)
11. Robert PLANQUETTE/J. F. RAUSKI Le Régiment de Sambre et Meuse (Sambre and Meuse march)
12. Cesare PUGNI March for the ballet 'The Little Hump-backed Horse'
13. F. ROMAIN Sonnez Clairons (Sound You Trumpets)
14. Carl UNRATH König-Karl-Marsch (King Karl)
15. Philipp FAHRBACH Jr. Salut a Copenhague, Op.263
16. Wilhelm LEGRAND Parademarsch der Königlich Bayerischen Grenadier-Garde (Bavarian March)
17. Karl HAUSCHILD Frohsinn Marsch (Parade March)
18. Alexey F. LVOV 68th Borodinsky Infantry Guards March
19. Ivan CHAPIEVSKY Borodinsky Regimental March
20. Jean-Baptiste LULLY God Save the Tsar ceremonial music
21. General Muster ceremonial music
22. Ceremonial Retreat ceremonial music
23. Dmitry BORTNYANSKY The Lord in Zion Reigneth ceremonial music
24. Erik ERIKSSON Marsch aus Petersburg (From Petersburg)
25. Vasily AGAPKIN Farewell of Slavianka March



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